Elements of the Daily Program
The daily program is designed to build upon the curiosity, wonder and richness that children bring to pre-school. Important elements of our program are seen in the:
Outdoor Play Environment
Each day children have an opportunity to explore and play in the outdoor area.
Outdoor play provides a non-threatening context for children to gain control and ultimately mastery over their bodies with the development of a range of manipulative and motor skills. During play children learn new skills and concepts, discover the world, and learn about themselves and others through their interactions in a variety of social situations. Outdoor play is also reported to facilitate language development, creative thinking and problem-solving, and helps children deal with complex and competing emotions.
Outdoor environments fulfil childrens basic needs for freedom, adventure, experimentation, risk taking and just being children (Greenman, 1993)
NQF: Quality area 2: Physical activity is promoted through planned and spontaneous experiences and is appropriate to the age of the child.
In early childhood we often use the term Nurture through Nature believing that the outdoors is just as valuable as the indoor learning environment. It should be a space that challenges, allows for exploration and involving natural real experiences and opportunities that the indoors can not.
“Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. They offer a vast array of possibilities not available indoors. Play spaces in Natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand ,rocks,mud ,water and other elements from nature. These spaces invite open ended interactions, spontanaity, risk taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. They foster an appreciation of the natural environmnet , develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education.”
EYLF Being Belonging Becoming: Practice (PG 15 & 16)
Morning gatherings are designed to bring the children together as a group where we discuss the possibilities for the day ahead, and share poetry, stories and songs.
Play Based Learning
At Bomaderry Community Preschool, special emphasis is placed on play based learning, a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social world, as they actively engage with people, objects and representations. We see:
- Play as the most effective way for young children to learn;
- Play serves as a means for a child to safely explore and seek information;
- Play provides opportunities for children to practice their skills in a relaxed and pleasurable way;
- Play allows hands on learning experiences; therefore,
- Play provides the ultimate curriculum for social, physical and cognitive advancement.
The Wondering book encourages the children to ‘wonder’ about things, share their ideas, the environment and social events. Children, parents and educators are invited to add questions to encourage ‘wonder’ to the Wondering book (located at the entrance of both the Wattle and Gumnut rooms) The questions added to the Wondering book are used as provocations for workshops and future discussions. Responding to these questions as a community group, helps the children feel respected and valued members of their community. The educators believe that an intense sense of curiosity and wonder will take children’s learning to a much deeper level of thinking than traditional directed teaching from an adults perspective does.
Weekly Planning and Possibilities Cycle (ix)
- Observations of children:
Educators are responsible for all children in their group. The observations include jottings, individual/small group observations, Pedagogical Documentation, learning stories, samples of work, photos, Daily Reflections, records of discussions with family e.g. emails and information from families. (Use Focus Child Cycle to assist with this)
Educators meet weekly for an hour together to discuss the previous week and to generate new ideas for the following week. This is a time for staff to reflect and evaluate as well as exchange information and collaborate for future provision. Ideas come from previous week’s interests, connections, conversations or learning experiences from the children or families. We record ideas and thoughts onto our ‘Intentional Pedagogical Possibilities’ (IPP) sheet.
- Daily Program
Our ‘Intentional Pedagogical Possibilities’ sheet then becomes the bases for our program for that next week. ‘Spontaneous Happenings’ is an important feature that we fill out at the end of the day. All educators contribute to the “Weekly Reflections’ for each group. It is completed at the end of the week and emailed to families. Hard copies are printed for families without email. It comprises a snapshot of some of the group learning/interactions that took place. Links to the EYLF and theo-rists are noted within the Weekly Reflections.
- Reflection through Pedagogical Documentation, Evaluations & Reflective Questions
*Educators may record a one-off experience, or project work that may have lasted over several days, weeks or months. These are detailed and reflect s on the teaching & learning (planned and unplanned) that has occurred. This documentation includes; connections, what took place, children’s voices, educators’ reflections, photos, drawings and a link to the EYLF and/or Theories. *Educators reflect together on a set of questions at Team Meeting’s. (x) *The IPP sheet is evaluated by educators as we go.
|9:30am – 10:00am||Morning Gathering|
|10:20am – 12:30pm||Indoor/outdoor play|
|12.30pm – 1:00pm||Lunch time|
|1:00pm – 1:30pm||Relaxation|
|1:30pm – 2:30pm||Indoor Play|
The Early Years Learning Framework promotes children to self-select experiences including involvement in small group experiences (based on individual passions, strengths and interests) throughout the whole day. During the day children are given opportunities to participate in music, language, cooking, science experiments, drama and more, based on their interests, strengths and passions through discovery areas.
Our routine allows for long periods of self-directed play, as this encourages children to initiate their own activities, use materials in complex ways and allow children time to work with each other. We believe children need enough time to become familiar with the environment and ways in which materials can be explored and used. These long stretches of time also allows adults to closely observe and note recurring focus in children’s play enabling adults to extend possibilities by creating discovery centres for further exploration and study.
“Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning.” EYLF (2009:15)